How to format your references using the Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Rogers CS. Confounding factors in coral reef recovery. Science 2000;289:391b.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mel’nikov AS, Vinokur VM. Mesoscopic superconductor as a ballistic quantum switch. Nature 2002;415:60–2.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang X, Zhu Y, Granick S. Hydrophobicity at a Janus interface. Science 2002;295:663–6.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Hu C, Ahmed M, Melia TJ, Söllner TH, Mayer T, Rothman JE. Fusion of cells by flipped SNAREs. Science 2003;300:1745–9.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Hamad WY. Cellulose Nanocrystals. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2017.
An edited book
Gonzalez MJ. New Insights on Vitamin C and Cancer. New York, NY: Springer; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Kuhlmann M, Gogolla M. Strengthening SAT-Based Validation of UML/OCL Models by Representing Collections as Relations. In: Vallecillo A, Tolvanen J-P, Kindler E, Störrle H, Kolovos D, editors. Modelling Foundations and Applications: 8th European Conference, ECMFA 2012, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark, July 2-5, 2012. Proceedings, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2012, p. 32–48.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology.

Blog post
Andrew E. Two New Anti-HIV Molecules Identified. IFLScience 2015. (accessed October 30, 2018).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. Low-Income and Minority Serving Institutions: Management Attention to Long-standing Concerns Needed to Improve Education’s Oversight of Grant Programs. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2009.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Hill JA. Classical three-body systems and the Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser theorem. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach, 2012.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Oestreich JR. A Conductor Celebrates Monteverdi’s 450th. New York Times 2017:C2.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleSynthetic and Systems Biotechnology
AbbreviationSynth. Syst. Biotechnol.
ISSN (print)2405-805X

Other styles